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Bill Melson

Portrait of Bill Melson.

Bill Melson (deceased: October 2016) was a geologist emeritus at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. Melson received geology degrees from Johns Hopkins University (BA) and Princeton University (PhD) and was a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Mineralogical Society of America. With Brian Mason, he wrote the first textbook on The Lunar Rocks (Wiley and Sons) and served on NASA’s Apollo 14 Preliminary Examination Team. His writings include chapters in the Smithsonian’s Book of the American Land (Shenandoah Roots) and in the Smithsonian-National Geographic book Forces of Change (Global Synergies). The ongoing eruptions of Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica, were a major subject of his research. Melson worked on archaeological problems with Dr. Rick Potts on the origin of reddened fused zones in the sediments at the Homo erectus site at Olorgesalie, Kenya.